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Eligibility Recruitment Selection Enrollment Attendance

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1 Eligibility Recruitment Selection Enrollment Attendance
ERSEA Training Eligibility Recruitment Selection Enrollment Attendance Mention questions about Record Review Most of the information today will be focused on “eligibility” and proper documentation of ERSEA activities.

2 Eligibility The only two requirements that must be met for a child to be eligible for Head Start is age and income. A parent must produce an immunization record because of state requirements. Nothing else, including a physical, has to be in place. You cannot require additional things to be done.

3 Age To be automatically age eligible for Head Start, a child must be 3 or 4 years of age on October 1. If a child will turn 3 after school begins but on or before October 1, he is also automatically age eligible and may be enrolled and begin in August even though he will only be 2 years old at that time.

4 Age If a child turns 3 after the October 1 deadline, he can still be age eligible for Head Start in the following two ways: If the child has a disability, he can be enrolled after his 3rd birthday. If the program does not have other children available to enroll, a child without a disability can be enrolled after his 3rd birthday. (Permission from Grantee Office must be granted) It is often times better to enroll an overincome child instead of a PIR age 2 year old. Even if a child has a disability, that does not necessarily mean he will be enrolled. An example would be if a child had a disability but the family was overincome. In this situation, if the program was already serving at least 10% disability children, then this child would be behind income eligible children on the waiting list.

5 Verifying Age What can be used to verify the age of a child?
Birth Certificate Hospital Certificate Letter from: Community Based Services Health Department Immunization Certificate Possibly Others

6 Income 90% of the children that are enrolled in a program must have a total family income that is below the national poverty guideline. Only 10% of the children enrolled can have family incomes above the poverty guideline. We cannot cross the 10% overincome line at any time, for any reason.

7 Family Income Income means the total cash receipts before taxes from all sources for each member of the child’s family.

8 Family Income Yes to all. Does that include: Unemployment checks?
Alimony payments? Child Support? Military pay? Income from rental property? Social Security payments? Yes to all.

9 Family Income No to all. Does that include: Food Stamps? Tax refunds?
Compensation for injury? Sale of property? Gifts? No to all. Webster’s defines a gift as “something transferred from one person to another without compensation”. Instruct the delegates to not use the letter from the Food Stamp office to verify “0” income. What is the definition of a “gift”?

10 Family Income What documentation can be used to determine the income of a family member? Individual tax forms such as a 1040 W-2 forms Pay stubs Documentation from the court system (alimony, child support, etc.) Proof of public assistance (TANF, SSI) Letter from employer The last resort for income documentation is a signed statement from the parent.

11 Correctly using the “0” income form
When a parent is determined to have “0” income for the previous month and the 0 income form is used, any amount listed on the form should not count as income on COPA. Link to “0” income form

12 Family Income But which family members’ income should be counted ?

13 Determining Income Eligibility
One of the most important things that the interviewer (staff) must know is the Head Start definition of family: Family means all persons living in the same household who are supported by the income of the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child enrolling or participating in the program, and related to the parent(s) or guardian(s) by blood, marriage or adoption.

14 Eligibility Scenarios
The following are some examples of possible scenarios an interviewer may be faced with when trying to determine family income:

15 Eligibility Scenarios
John & Cathy come to fill out an application for their son Ricky. They tell the interviewer that they have an older son that is married and does not live with them. How many would be in the family? 3 - The older son would not count because he is not living in the household.

16 Eligibility Scenarios
A parent comes to fill out an application for her daughter Jennifer. She says that she has another child, Lucy, that lives in the home. Lucy works at McDonalds on nights and weekends. Should Lucy’s wages count in the family income? No Only the income of the parents would count for family income.

17 Eligibility Scenarios
A mother comes to fill out an application for her son Donnie. She says that her and her husband recently divorced and they decided to split up their twin boys, Donnie and Ronnie. Ronnie now lives with her husband in an apartment just across the road from her house. How many should count in Donnie’s family? 2 – The mother and Donnie

18 Eligibility Scenarios
A married couple comes to fill out an application for their son. The father states that he worked as a coal miner until 2 months ago when he was fired for stealing. He says that he is currently drawing unemployment wages. The mother states that she works at the airport. Obviously, the mother’s income should be counted. But what should the interviewer use to verify the father’s income and how should it be calculated? Only the unemployment proof for 1 month. It should be multiplied by the number of pay periods for one year. (i.e. Pay stub for 2 week period would be multiplied by 26)

19 Eligibility Scenarios
Betty comes to fill out an application for her daughter Linda. She says that she is divorced from Linda’s father and got married again last month to a doctor in Hazard. She also has another child that she adopted two years ago. How many are in the family? 4 – Betty, Linda, the other child and the new husband Should the interviewer calculate only a month of the husband’s income or the previous 12 months? The previous 12 months

20 Eligibility Scenarios
Kellie arrives at the center and wants to fill out an application for her two nephews. She provides documentation showing that she receives Kinship Care money for both of them. She says she works part time but does not have any check stubs with her. How many would be in the family? Should the interviewer ask Kellie to bring her check stubs back at another time or should she just write down the amount Kellie tells her? Both children would be families of “1”. Since the children are in Kinship Care, no other income verification is needed.

21 Eligibility Scenarios
Tina and Rocky live together but are not married. They have one child together, Pete. But Rocky also has two other children that live with them that are from his first marriage. Tina comes to fill out an application for their son Pete. How many are in the family? 5 – Even though Tina and Rocky are not married, he is still a parent to Pete. This means that his other kids would count in the family.

22 Eligibility Scenarios
A foster parent named Wanda and her 17 year old foster child, Annie, arrive at the center. The foster parent says that they have come to fill out an application for Annie’s child. Wanda states that Annie and her child live with her (Wanda) and Annie does not work. Whose income should be counted and how many are in the family? 2 – Annie and the child. Since Annie does not work, her income would be “0”.

23 Eligibility Scenarios
A father comes to fill out an application for his son. When asked about his income, he tells the interviewer that he has been working at Wal-Mart for the past 3 months. He also says that he worked at Arby’s for the previous 5 years before taking the job at Wal-Mart. How should his income be calculated? It can either be last year’s tax forms or the interviewer can take his Wal-Mart income for 1 month and multiply by 12.

24 Eligibility Scenarios
Jill comes to fill out an application for her daughter. She tells the interviewer that she doesn’t work and that her mother pays all of her bills including the rent for her apartment which totals $1,200 per month. Should Jill be asked to fill out a “0” income form? Should the family income be $1,200 or should it be $0.00? Yes, the parent would need to fill out the “0” income form. According to the scenario, she does not have any income because the money she receives is a “gift”.

25 Child Income For our purposes, a child only has income in one particular situation. What is it? The only time a child will have income is when he is in Foster or Kinship Care. In this situation, the interviewer does not need to see any other income from the family other than the amount received for this child.

26 Child Income For our purposes, a child only has income in one particular situation. What is it? If the parent or guardian tells the interviewer that the child is a Kinship Care child but she doesn’t receive money for him, then he cannot be considered a Foster Child and is not automatically eligible. When a family does receive money and a child is in Kinship Care, that child should be listed as “Foster Child” on COPA. Link to Application

27 McKinney – Vento Definition of Homeless
The clarified definition of who is considered homeless is addressed. Section 725 (2) and (6) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act state: The term “homeless children and youths’- Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…: and (B) Includes- children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement; children and youths who have a primary night-time residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings… children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii). Ask them how many received a copy of the McKinney-Vento Act. How many still have that copy in their classroom. If you don’t have it, get it because that definition is how we determine a homeless family.

28 Indentifying Homeless Families

29 Scenarios A mother and her daughter are living in a hotel while their house is being built. The mother tells the interviewer that they sold their trailer and decided to stay in the hotel for the next 6 months until the house is finished. The manager of the hotel is a friend of the family and is giving them a discount on the room. Is the family homeless? No. The family is staying in the hotel by choice and has not been forced there due to economic hardship.

30 Scenarios A father and mother come in July to fill out an application for their son. During the interview, the father mentions that he hopes the weather cools down soon because their air conditioner stopped working and their trailer gets very hot. Does this make the family homeless? No. Though the air conditioner would definitely make life easier for the family, the fact that they do not have one would not make them homeless.

31 Scenarios A mother and her child are living with her parents. She tells the interviewer that she and her son lived in an apartment until three months ago when the rent became too expensive. So at that time, they moved back in with her parents and plan on moving into a low income apartment when one becomes available. Is this family homeless? Maybe. It could be looked at as a “homeless” family because economic hardship forced the family to move in with relatives. But the family has been there for three months and if the interviewer feels that it is a stable situation, this may not be a homeless family.

32 Scenarios A husband, wife, and their two children are staying in a camper at a local camp ground. They have a home in South Carolina but they stay in Kentucky during the week so the husband can work at a nearby construction job. The couple tells the interviewer that they cannot stand to be apart all week so the whole family travels with the father when he works construction jobs away from home. Is this family currently homeless? No. Again, the family has a home and is making a choice to stay in the camper as a convenience.

33 Scenarios A mother comes to fill out an application for her son. When asked her address, the woman tells the interviewer that she and her 3 children are currently staying at a Domestic Violence Shelter and are hiding from her husband. She says that he is staying at their home but that she hopes to be given the house if she divorces him. Is this family homeless? Yes. On the day that she is filling out this application, it appears that the mother does not plan on going home until things are resolved and is currently living in a shelter. This would be a clear cut situation that should be identified as “homeless”.

34 Scenarios A mother tells the interviewer that she and her daughter were living alone in a house. But last month, her brother lost his job and so his family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) were forced to leave their apartment and the mother allowed them to move in with her and her daughter. Does this make the mother and daughter a homeless family? No. The mother has legal rights to the house she is living in and economic hardship has not forced her to seek other living arrangements. Though the living arrangement has changed and possibly became uncomfortable, it happened by the mother’s choice and she could evict her brother’s family at any time.

35 Scenarios During the recent ice storm, a tree fell on a family’s home and damaged the roof. The father tells the interviewer that the damage is significant and the family is staying with relatives until the roof can be fixed. When asked by the interviewer about whether the roof is leaking, he said it is not leaking but his wife was so scared after what happened that she refuses to let the family return to the house until several other nearby trees are cut down to make sure this never happens again. Is this family homeless? No. The house is still there and in livable condition. The reason they are staying with relatives is by choice. Link to Family Residency Questionnaire

36 Recruitment Recruitment continues all year long. How do you find your kids?

37 Selection How do we select children for the program?
Link to Waiting List

38 Enrollment Full enrollment must be maintained at all times. However, full classrooms do not. Head Start does not enroll children on a first come, first serve basis. Once you’re in, you’re in. Just because you may lose a child from your classroom does not mean that there is an opening in that classroom. The slot may be filled in another classroom. Children are enrolled based on their points and position on the waiting list regardless of when the application was filled out. A child cannot be excluded for lack of information provided once they have been enrolled. When a child withdraws, he is not given special consideration for reenrollment at a future time. Once you're out, you’re out.

39 Updating Family Income A common mistake that is found on COPA is when family income has been updated for the wrong reasons. This is a common finding during Record Review Link to Family Data Sheet

40 Review of the New Eligibility Verification Form
Link to Eligibility Verification Form

41 Review of the New Application
The enrollment application was updated with only a few minimal changes. The color scheme of the application will continue to change each year so that it is easy to tell first year and second year children apart when looking in the folder. Link to New Application

42 Additional Questions How long can a child remain on the waiting list without needing reverification? 12 months note: When considering a child for enrollment or reenrollment, if it has been more than 12 months since income was verified, a new application and eligibility verification form must be completed.

43 Additional Questions Where should the original child enrollment applications be kept? In the office Enrollment Folder note: The classroom folder should contain either a copy of the enrollment application or a printed COPA application.

44 Additional Questions When a child is eligible for their 3rd year of Head Start, should a new application be completed? Yes. A 3rd year child must have a new application and Eligibility Verification form completed. Income must be reverified.

45 Additional Questions Should you print the COPA “points page” and put it in the child’s folder for a returning child? No. The points page should only be printed and put in the child’s folder when the child is enrolled. note: A new points page should be placed in the folder each time the child enrolls. For instance, if he withdraws and reenrolls, a new points page would be added to his folder.

46 Additional Questions If a mother tells the interviewer that her husband moved out last week, should his income be counted? No. We accept the current situation and if the mother says the father is not in the home, the interviewer will accept that as the truth. note: In the past, the parent was asked to write a statement saying that she and her husband were separated if no court documents were available. This is no longer necessary. If the parent verbally tells the interviewer that there is a separation and the father is out of the home, that is all the proof that is needed.

47 Additional Questions If a family receives certain public assistance, their age eligible child is automatically income eligible for Head Start. Name the public assistance programs. TANF or SSI

48 Additional Questions If during the application process, a child is determined to be “homeless”, does the parent still need to produce income verification? No.

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